How Safe Are Acrylic Drinking Glasses? Debunking Acrylic Myths

How Safe Are Acrylic Drinking Glasses? Debunking Acrylic Myths

How Safe Are Acrylic Drinking Glasses? Debunking Acrylic Myths

If you’re looking for the perfect drinkware for your everyday use, acrylic drinking glasses are a practical choice. They are inexpensive, versatile, and highly durable, making them ideal for home, commercial, or industrial applications. But are acrylic glasses safe?

Compared to other plastic drinkware, acrylic drinking glasses are much safer to use. It is because, unlike most plastic drinking glasses, they do not contain and release Bisphenol A (BPA). A potentially harmful chemical, BPA may cause several health issues such as infertility, thyroid disease, metabolic dysfunction, and other hormone-related problems.

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How To Know If Your Acrylic Drinking Glasses Are Safe

In choosing acrylic drinking glasses over other plastic drinkware, you do not have to worry about BPA and its effects on your health. But how to make sure that you are buying the right product and that it is safe for you and your family? Here, we provide a few tips that might help you:

  • Check the product details. To ensure that you are buying acrylic drinkware, you may check the product description. You can find helpful information there about the product, including the material used, its dimension, care instructions, and more.
  • Know its SPI code. Sometimes, manufacturers do not indicate which type of plastic they used in making their products. To be sure, you may want to check the SPI code of those drinking glasses you are eyeing before deciding to buy them. SPI codes or Resin Identification Codes are the numbers within a triangle printed on the bottom of most plasticware. The Society of Plastic Industry (SPI) created this number system to allow easy sorting of plastics for recycling. Acrylic falls into the number 7 category.
  • Look for labels like “Hand wash” and “Top-rack dishwasher safe.” Unfortunately, polycarbonate, which contains BPA, belongs to the same plastic group as acrylic. If the product is marked “Unbreakable” or “Dishwasher-safe,” and you cannot find the “BPA-free” label, it’s probably polycarbonate.

Generally, acrylic plasticware, whether transparent or tinted, is labeled “Hand wash” or “Top-rack dishwasher safe.” So to make sure that you are buying acrylic drinking glasses and not polycarbonate ones, look out for these labels.

Debunking Acrylic Myths

Acrylic is a transparent thermoplastic mostly made in sheet form. Technically named Polymethyl methacrylate or PMMA, it is the synthetic polymer of methyl methacrylate. It is known for its high transparency, tensile strength, and UV resistance and has gained popularity since its first introduction to the market in 1933.

Debunking Acrylic Myths

Is it plastic or glass?

A non-crystalline vitreous substance, acrylic is often classified as a type of glass and occasionally called acrylic glass. It may look like glass, but acrylic is reusable, impact-proof, and wear-resistant, just like other plastics.

Is acrylic unbreakable?

Although acrylic is breakable, it does not easily shatter as glass would. It has impact strength many times higher than that of glass, and it will take extreme force to break it. Also, unlike glass, acrylic will not shatter into tiny, dangerously sharp shards.

Is acrylic better than glass?

Considered as one of the clearest plastics on the market, acrylic is commonly used to substitute glass. It provides the same aesthetics and elegance as glass. But unlike glass, acrylic is lightweight and shatter-resistant, allowing easy handling and cleaning. Also, acrylic is less costly and low maintenance. Although the best material for your drinkware in terms of safety is glass, some people prefer acrylic for practical reasons and the many advantages it offers.

Things (Not) To Do To Keep Your Acrylic Glasses Safe

Things (Not) To Do To Keep Your Acrylic Glasses Safe

Most plasticware contains additives that are not chemically bonded to the basic plastic polymer. These additives tend to leach when subject to thermal or chemical changes. Leaching is the process where chemicals from the plastic container transfer or leak into its content—your food or drink. So to reduce exposure to potentially harmful substances, like styrene, phthalates, and dioxin, try to avoid leaching as much as possible. Check these few ways to do so:

  • Don’t store your drinks in acrylic glasses. Use your acrylic glasses exclusively for drinking. For storing drinks, containers made of stainless steel, glass, or ceramic are preferable.
  • Don’t drink hot beverages from your acrylic drinkware. When you drink hot coffee or tea, the heat from your drink is transferred to your acrylic drinking glass and may cause leaching. It is best to invest in high-quality mugs and mason jars for your hot beverages.
  • Don’t heat your acrylic drinking glasses. Heating any plasticware can accelerate leaching, so it is better to avoid using them with the microwave. Microwaving food is generally safe, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). However, using plastic containers when microwaving food will increase leaching. You may opt for glass or ceramic food storage.

Acrylic Glasses Cleaning And Maintenance Tips

To make your acrylic drinking glasses last longer, here are simple tricks to follow:

  • Check the cleaning instructions. You may clean your acrylic drinking glasses by hand-washing. Some of them are top-rack dishwasher safe, but others are not. Dishwasher agents and heat may cause your acrylic drinkware to crack and craze, so be sure to check out the cleaning instructions first.
  • Avoid strong chemicals. For removing sticker residue, please do not use any adhesive remover, nail polish remover, or turpentine. These products will damage your acrylic glassware. You can use lubricants or liquid vegetable oils instead.
  • Never put them in the microwave. For your safety, it is also important to note that acrylic drinkware is not recommended for microwave use.

Choose Your Drinking Glasses Wisely

Choosing the right drinking glasses is as important as drinking clean water. It will have a tremendous effect on your health in the long run. So whether you prefer glass or plastic, take the time to do your research before deciding on buying any drinkware. 

We hope that this article helped you in your journey of finding the right drinking glasses. If you like this post, share it with your friends or let us know in the comment section.

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  • Thanks for pointing out that acrylic does not easily shatter since it has impact strength many times higher than glass. This could be considered by manufacturing companies that need to find the best material to pack their items in a cost-effective way. I could imagine how food items could be safely be placed in the market with the right acrylic products.


    Shammy Peterson

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